A while back I wrote an article on associate ministry and how we must support the worship service. You can find that link here. After reading some of the results from our 2010 survey, I found two things. First, many readers of SoulPreaching.Com are in an associate or assistant minister slot. Some are paid and many are unpaid. The majority are considered clergy by their denomination while others are considered lay people. In any case, these people have felt the call to ministry that often includes the call to preach. However, in many churches there is simply not enough opportunities to preach for all of the unpaid associates and assistants. Some senior pastors work to make opportunities for these assistants, while other senior pastors simply ignore the issue. I also found that many people wanted more help for those in associate ministry. I pray this article will help in that regard.
The problem is that people who feel a call to preach and are not given the opportunity to preach often cause problems for the congregation. They sometimes start to fight with other leaders desiring their preaching opportunities. Sometimes they turn every time they are in the pulpit into a preaching moment. So they are reading the scripture, they turn that into a sermon. They announce they hymn, and that is a sermon. Yes, one who feels the call to preach and never gets an outlet for that call will feel frustrated and often will take it out on the congregation, pastor, and the other church leaders.
I was talking the other day to an associate about this very problem. This associate noted that those of us who are in associate ministry must first and foremost recognize that our role is one of support. Support the senior pastor. Support the worship service. Support the congregation. Our role in church is to “plug the gaps.” You may not preach but once or twice a year in the church, but you must in your role at church “support.”
But in order to be successful in that support role, you must be allow the Holy Spirit to help you find your ministry that you can lead. This ministry will more than likely be outside of the walls of the church, but does not have to be. Successful associates have found that Nursing Home ministry can be a valid and powerful outlet for their ministry. There are many of our seniors who have no one to visit them and have no way of getting to church. Perhaps you can bring church to them.
Another important ministry is the Jail or prison ministry. There are tons of inmates who have come to the Lord as a result of someone bringing the church to them. As an associate whether paid or unpaid, in many cases, you are an ordained minister. That standing opens doors of service. People need to heard the word of truth even outside of the walls of the church.
Have you thought about working at a downtown mission? Many missions have worship services that need preachers. Those who find themselves in such situations really need to hear the word presented. I can remember that when I preached consistently in a downtown mission it totally transformed my preaching in very positive ways.
How about publishing ministry? Do you have a book in you? Can you help the people of God by preaching the word in book form? If God has called you to spread the word, maybe you can spread it through the “printed page.” Remember that books can go where you could not go otherwise.
I would be remiss if I didn’t briefly add the internet ministry. There are tons of ministers who use the internet to spread a word of Hope. I get emails from people who send a thought through email. I am Facebook friends with people who use their status updates to talk about God’s love. Twitter, blogs, etc. They all are opportunities for those who have been called.
I actually have a minister friend who started a radio program in his local area. He found sponsors and now he “preaches” over the airwaves every week. He did not wait for permission or an assignment, but simply went forth and God blessed.
By no means are these the only ministry opportunities. What you will find, however, is that when you are successfully doing God’s work outside the church, more opportunities for service inside the church will materialize. Dear associate, go do the work that God has called you to do and watch God open more doors.
Finally, wherever you are be a light. You are at work and someone needs hope. Someone needs the light of truth. Someone needs to know someone cares. You are speaking to relatives, allow God to speak through your words of comfort and hope and power. Let people know you are a minister by your reliance on God and the truth.
If you have been called to preach, preaching once or twice a year in a church does not fulfill your obligation. Don’t allow bitterness to overtake you. Whether your senior pastor opens the door or not, please find an outlet for your ministerial work. God will bless it, and the whole world will be edified.
Can one learn to whoop? Is there a system to help anybody whoop? Rev. Jasper Williams answers this question with an unequivocal yes. He states that anyone who has been called to preach has been given by God the ability to whoop.
This system is meant to help one learn how. Needless to say I was a little skeptical. But I went ahead and looked at this tape, video 10, in Jasper Williams Pastor and Preaching System. You can purchase the system at this link.
There is very little on the subject of “whooping” available on the web or in book form to preachers at the present time. You might be interested in looking at my series of posts on the subject at this link. Also you should look forward to Rev. Martha Simmons forthcoming book on the subject.
Like any good presenter, Rev. Williams defines whooping. His definition includes anything that God gives to you individually as a preacher to help you celebrate the gospel in your sermons. this definition is a little broader than what many of us think of when we think of whooping. But that very broadness is why he can make the statement that “anyone can whoop.”
I would add that usually whooping is seen as the introduction of musicality to the preaching moment.
At any rate, A very valuable component of Williams’ system is that he shows you a wide variety of very different whoopers. This emphasizes his major point that one preacher’s whoop is different from another preacher’s whoop.
Williams even goes so far as to say that in his early years he “copied” C. L. Franklin’s whoop too much instead of trying to find his own whoop. This point, namely that we should find our own whoop, is emphasized over and over again by Williams in the video.
In the video Rev Williams gives whooping theory which he calls “whoopology.” I gleaned the following fundamental components of Williams’ understanding of whooping from the video.
What is the “whooping curve?” That is the fact that many sermons that use a whoop make sure that they are not at the height of their vocal intensity when entering the whoop of the sermon.
Rev. William’s understanding of preaching begins the sermon at a lower intensity then slowly builds up to a climax before the whoop section of the sermon. Then there is a drop in intensity. This is to make sure that your voice will not be strained in the whoop section which will ensure that you can continue to raise the intensity level through the whoop.
You must not go into the whoop at too high a level of intensity, you must have a drop in intensity as you go into the whoop. Then you build back up. If you go into your whoop at too high an intensity there is no place to go. I was listening to C. L. Franklin in the sermon entitled “Press on.” You find him at a high level of intensity. Then there is a drop in intensity right before the whoop. Then inside the whoop he builds to the final climax.
Rev. Williams does not just give theory, but he also gives some steps that a preacher should follow if that preacher wishes to introduce whooping into his or her preaching.
The first and perhaps most important thing one should do is practice. Practice in your car, practice in your shower. Also folks practice in the bathroom. Williams notes that practicing on the toilet is where many have done a lot of practicing. You want to practice. As you practice you must listen to yourself critically. Williams notes that when it sounds good to you it is ready for use.
Second, one should listen to other whoopers. This is akin to the jazz musician who listens to others. You do not copy but you emulate others. This is kind of a sticky thing. But you must preach your own style of Whoop. Seeing different styles helps a preacher find onesself.
And that is step three, you must find your own whoop. What is natural to you. God has built you physically and spiritually for a certain type of proclamation. Williams notes that we must preach in that way.
Finally, we should look for opportunities to incorporate “whooping” into our preaching. Because, in Williams thought, whooping is meant to articulate the joy of the Gospel, we must as preachers do it. Joy in the Gospel is an important component of our preaching ministry.
I think that the whooping system could spend a little more time in “step by step” instructions. But I began implementing elements of musicality into my preaching after looking at this video so it was helpful. The drastically different approaches to whooping also opens ones eyes to different takes on whooping.
However, I think that preachers who are in Whooping traditions probably already know most of what you will find on this video. And those of us who are not from those traditions probably could glean alot just from listening to great whoopers.
Be that as it may, Williams’ system can help to at least point you in the right direction and it is relatively inexpensive at 30 dollars. So I would encourage you to go and look at the video.
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